The Cumberland County Homemaker-Home Health Aide Service no longer offers services from its Buck Street site in Millville, but home health aides will still be trained there through a new owner, Cumberland County College.
The college's new Paula J. Ring Education Center at 10 Buck St. was formally dedicated Wednesday. It is named for the former executive director of the Homemaker-Home Health Aide Service, which donated the 7,200-square-foot building and its parking lot to the college through its foundation when the nonprofit group closed in October 2012.
The site will house the college's Workforce and Community Education programs, with a focus on short-term health care programs, college President Thomas Isekenegbe said. Among the programs offered are phlebotomy, pharmacy technician, medical assistant, fitness trainer, massage therapist and medical coding and billing. The college's nursing department will provide certificate programs for home health aides and nurse's aides. A licensed practical nurse program will also be offered.
Isekenegbe said the building donation allowed the college to free up space at the Vineland campus for its nursing program, which was sharing space with the other health care programs. He said it was sometimes a challenge to schedule use of the nursing labs.
"These are customized training programs, and some of them took up a lot of space," he said.
Isekenegbe said the building needed very little work, which made it attractive to the college and allowed it to open the new center quickly. Staff began moving there in February.
"We did not want to have to spend a lot of money on the building," he said.
The college is also developing a $7 million Arts and Business Innovation Center at High and Vine Streets in the heart of the downtown arts district.
Isekenegbe said the Buck Street site is near an NJ Transit bus route, so it is convenient for students who may not have cars.
The building is also a way to bring more people to downtown Millville. Isekenegbe said about 60 students are in the LPN program and about 100 students take other courses.
A long-time community activist, Ring is a graduate of Cumberland County College and St. Joseph's College. She was named one of Cumberland County College's Distinguished Alumni in 1996 and is a past president of the college Alumni Association and a past member of the Foundation Board. She is the longest serving member of the Millville Housing Authority and serves as chair of the Vineland Developmental Center Board of Directors and the Cumberland County Board of Health.
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